Monday, December 20, 2010
Ten random thoughts on the twentieth
--- When it comes to the sisters Bennett, I am in the Joan column.
--- Robert Ryan confronting the soldier in the bar in Odds Against Tomorrow is about as scary (and satisfying) as it gets.
--- Holmesian acquaintances wince when I tell them my favorite Sherlock Holmes on film is Robert Stephens in Billy Wilder’s The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes.
--- Rather than his directorial efforts, I prefer Martin Scorsese’s work as film enthusiast, preservationist, historian, and keeper of the flame.
--- I am investigating to find out if Dangerous Crossing with Jeanne Crain has been shown on Fox Movie Channel more times than Cunard’s original Queen Mary crossed the Atlantic.
--- Wandering around Leicester Square some years back, I heard an irate, thirtyish American wife raging at her husband “We did not travel to England to go to the movies.”
--- While my wife and I watched The Keys of the Kingdom last week, I thought of an English film critic, when reviewing a new film, stating that he could feel his fingernails growing.
--- Billy Wilder is my favorite (émigré) American director, but his delirium tremens scene in The Lost Weekend pales compared to that in Jean Pierre Melville’s Le Cercle Rouge.
--- Where Danger Lives has astutely commented that Ella Raines’s beauty was rarely captured on film posters -- and it appears to me somewhat the same with her publicity stills.
--- Just once have I been the only person in a theatre -- a noon showing of the fiftieth anniversary edition of Casablanca at a downtown New York theatre toward the end of the run.
Note: “Random thoughts” pieces bring to mind the great Jimmy Cannon, whose “Nobody Asked Me, But” set the form. Any similarity stops there.